Blog #18: Carnivore, Omnivore, Herbivore, Frugivore….
There are many dietary choices. Carnivores eat primarily or only meat. Some well-known carnivores in the animal and plant world include lions, crocodiles, and the Venus flytrap. Occasionally humans follow this diet and benefit, though some people become constipated and toxic. One of my teachers was basically a carnivore for about a decade, eating almost exclusively raw animal protein, primarily raw beef. He was, and still is, high energy and healthy. You might want to check out the link below, where the soundman from the Grateful Dead writes about his life as a strict carnivore for several decades. http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=287013
Omnivores consume a variety of foods, including animal protein, fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. Some well-known animal omnivores are bears, chimpanzees, and turtles. Although there is much debate over which dietary regimen is natural for humans, most scientists conclude that prehistoric humans appear to have been omnivores and that this diet is probably the easiest to follow. Many people who eat primarily whole, organic foods tend to stay healthy and vital as omnivores. The Omnivore’s Delemma, by Michael Pollan, is an excellent book. A link outlining the book’s contents is below.
Herbivores consume little or no animal protein. Human herbivores are usually classified as vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarians eat eggs and dairy in addition to fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, seeds, nuts, etc. Vegans consume no animal protein. Well-known animal herbivores include rabbits, giraffes, and honeybees. Some people maintain that humans are meant to be vegetarians because of the length of their intestines, which are much longer than the typical carnivore’s, the relatively small human mouth compared with those of carnivores and because human teeth are more suited to grinding and chewing grains and vegetables than seizing and tearing flesh. It can be challenging to obtain sufficient quantities of Vitamin B12 as a vegan, but when people consume a high quality, balanced vegan or vegetarian diet and supplement with juices, herbs and vitamins as needed, there is strong scientific evidence that this type of diet often leads to improved health and greater longevity compared with people who consume meat, poultry, fish, or seafood. Here is a relevant link http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/48/3/712
Frugivores consume only fruit, nuts, and seeds. Some insects, such as the fruit fly, are frugivores, and some bats, birds, and lizards in tropical areas consume primarily fruit, seeds, and nuts, except around the time when they are feeding offspring. Occasionally humans thrive as frugivores, especially when they live low stress lifestyles in unpolluted environments, such as some tropical islands. One danger of following this type of diet and the vegan diet is that after several years, the bodily functions dedicated to digesting animal protein become dormant or shut down completely, i.e. the stomach is no longer acidic enough to digest animal protein, and a different proportion of enzymes is secreted by the pancreas and liver. Then, if animal protein is re-introduced into the diet, serious health consequences can result. Below is a relevant link. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/articles/2013/02/07/ashton-kutchers-fruitarian-diet-what-went-wrong
People also follow other types of diets, i.e., totally raw, raw vegetarian or raw vegan, liquids only, and breatharian (deriving all nutrients from sunlight, air, and water). There are serious health risks associated with these diets, although I know several people who have thrived on totally raw and even raw vegan diets for many years. In order to maintain healthy teeth and bones, raw vegans generally need to consume vast quantities of organic leafy greens, consume wheatgrass juice and other vegetable and fruit juices, and take nutritional supplements. Infants are liquidarians for the first several months of their lives. Some people follow such a diet for several days or weeks and seem to benefit from it; however, roughage is an essential element for most people and aids in detoxification. I do not know of any people who can prove they have followed a breatharian “diet” any longer than a few weeks without damaging their health. Most plants could be considered breatharians. Here is a sensible link addressing a raw foods diet: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/raw-food-diet_b_2015598.html
This blog’s offer: feel free to contact me with more specific questions regarding any of these diets. If you would like guidance regarding your own diet, or want to begin a detoxification program, I will help you with that at a reduced fee if you mention this blog. Please share this blog with others.